Monday, May 30, 2011

Hoppy Memorial Day!!

I know I am a little late with this week’s beer tasting, but it’s a holiday weekend, so I got a little distracted. I am still looking for more recipes or food pairings, so don’t be afraid to send them to me, The two beers that we sampled this week were very different in flavor, style, color and just about everything else! The only two things I could think of to tie them together was that they pair well with food and they are both a distinctive style of beer.

Lambic is unlike any other beer that you may have had before. It is very much like a cider, or a fruit wine, but has a sour aftertaste that isn’t at all unpleasant. Lambic is a beer that is unique to a certain region of Belgium, like Champagne is to the Champagne region of France. I recommend reading more on this very interesting, and tasty beer.

Color: Red, like Raspberry Crystal Light
Taste: The Raspberry Lambic, not surprisingly, tasted like raspberries. It was very light and crisp and sweet, with a sour after taste that was not out of place, but seemed to add to the experience
Musings: Never having a Lambic before, and not really knowing what it was all about, we were very surprised to have something so, well for lack of a better term, “un-beer-like”. It didn’t taste like beer in the least. It was very good, and I could see serving it over ice cream or with a chocolaty dessert like you would a bottle of Ice Wine or a fine dessert wine. I actually had to look up Lambic to make sure it was actually a beer, and not a section of the store that was misplaced. I recommend trying this one. It is a step out of the ordinary and a delicious step at that.

Hennepin 7.7 Alcohol/Volume, a Saison from Ommegang brewery in Cooperstown, NY
A brewery that I absolutely am in love with, but am still getting to know, Ommegang specializes in Belgian style beers and has some Seasonal brews that will floor you. We have had the Rare Vos from Ommegang before and thought that it was very good, and then there is their Biere De Mars…. I can’t even begin to describe the orgy of flavors in my mouth, the desire to never see the bottom of my glass, the sheer joy of tasting Biere de Mars by Ommegang….
Needless to say, I was looking forward to trying Hennepin, a Saison named after a Belgian explorer.
Color: Golden and sunny
Hennepin by Ommegang
Taste: A light and crisp beer that makes you want to open the windows and sit outside and enjoy a summer evening (sadly it was rainy and cold for us). Full of light hints of season herbs with a clean ending.
Musings: Saisons are farm house style ales, meant to be unique in flavor and style. I really have enjoyed everyone I have tried, and this one is no different. I highly recommend that you try Hennepin from Ommegang, and if you find a bottle of Biere De Mars, send it my way…. For more info on Saisons and good ones check this out. Since we are talking about pairing beer with food, I would recommend that you pair Hennepin with anything off the grill, some summer veggies or some grilled chicken would go great. There is never anything wrong with a good beer and a good burger either.

Hope you all are having a safe and fun holiday!

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